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A Reflection of Careen’s “Cycle 3”

Frostbite within a sinister cloud. Careen’s newly released EP Cycle 3 is a walking, unkempt phantom, characterized by uncanny murkiness and iniquity. Hailing from Bellingham, Washington, Careen is a 4-piece post-hardcore band that consists of Desi Valdez, Bryan Foster, Neto Alvarado, and Aiden Blau. In their most recent extended play, they introduce screechy mewls of thunderous guitar, twinned with tenebrous, ominous vocals that together, create the monster that lurks beneath the bed.

Starting off with “Last Winter”, the EP is turned to a melting pot of dingy, gloomy instrumentals, accompanied with pensive, somber vocals that promote sensations one would find in an abandoned building, teeming with moss and antiquated remorse. The song is uplifted by faded, brassy drumming, alongside the sweeping sounds of a swelled-up guitar. They soon close with the industrialist wails of what could easily be static deriving from a box television set, or undistinguished clanging emanating from a busy construction site.

Image via Careen

With the additional support of Maisie MacDonald’s vocals on this track, the song is graceful with a pitted, brawny elegance. With lyrics like “Scent is the strongest form of memory,” and “Moving present thoughts aside, removing the past entirely,” we are subjected to one’s hyper self-awareness of passing time where change is most prominent. What the song’s meaning conveys is an utmost grasp for recollection and reminiscence, when harking back to one’s bygone past, whether forgotten or clearly remembered.

Following this track is “Irreverent”, which begins with marching band like drums, along with instrumentation fueled with suspense. The song then submerges itself into a party of distorted resonance, with occasional bellows, like a blaring pack of wolves making their expenditure toward the moon. Between certain partitions of the song, the instrumental is more minimal and subtle. It formulates a cryptic feeling toward quietude and hushed placidity.

The next track “Neto” starts with more energetic strains of noise, and weeping cries that seem to give the feeling of perpetual eternity. The foreground, which features a stony guitar, defines itself as persistently unnerving, as it perches toward a boosted, elevated grasp of existentialism.

Image via Careen

Moving into the track “Slice” we are met with threadbare, keyed up shears of guitar, doused with tension and moth-eaten sorrow. Seasoned with this is deep-cut drumming and bass heavy with snarling contortion and fuzzed-out grit. Vocals imitate a chant of sorts, with singing led by enraged bile and crepuscular brooding that produces a splash of furor and tempestuous darkness.

Finally, as we make it to the final track “Model Kit” the mood undergoes a significant shift. The song presents itself as more balmy and halcyon, undisturbed by their usual din. Instead, it is riddled with ethereal texture that is paired with richly sentimental harmony. A song melodious with nostalgic rhythm. The tonal dynamic focuses more on reverb-inclined blending and roomy, gated springs of chamber delay, the song exits in such a way that makes one think of the momentary figments of time. It solidifies this Cycle 3‘s projected aura, which is a long voyage across a ghastly dire tunnel, with light found at the very end.

Details on the band’s upcoming tour can be found via their Instagram.